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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charity clashes with council over vital support provided to city's homeless

This news post is about 2 years old

Services such as a soup kitchen are in jeopardy

An organisation providing vital support to the homeless in has warned its emergency street food service could close.

Homeless Project Scotland's soup kitchen feeds upwards of 600 people with more than 1,000 hot meals a week under the ‘Heilanmans Umbrella’ on Argyle Street three nights a week, bringing a lifeline to those who are homeless, vulnerable, children, families, and elderly.

However the charity has said the council has told it can no longer park its vans in the Argyle Street location, putting its vital services in jeopardy.

As such services it runs in the area, including outreach support and its crucial overdose medication service,  are being compromised.

Colin McInnes, chairman of the charity, explained: “The council have said the charity no longer has got access under the bridge or bus lanes as we need to apply for permission again after being allowed for over a year and a half, this has left us no choice but to consider closing our service until further notice from Glasgow City Council on this matter.

“We have received a bus lane fine due to having to go down a bus lane to check on a homeless person who was reported as rough sleeping and also possible overdose but we explained this to Glasgow City Council officers and they sent us a reply saying we had to pay the ticket.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Homeless Project Scotland were granted a dispensation for vehicles to go through the bus gate at Argyle Street to allow access to the Heilanman’s Umbrella.

“This dispensation lapsed in January but will be formally restored if up-to-date vehicle information is provided. If any penalty charge notices have been issued against their vehicles since January in relation to Argyle Street then they should be appealed and we will cancel these fines.

“However, we are aware of only one penalty charge notice that is currently outstanding in relation to vehicles operated by Homeless Project Scotland. This fine relates to travelling through the bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place, where the organisation has no dispensation.”